The developer of a proposed $200 million project on Military Cutoff Road called The Avenue will proceed with pursuing a conditional rezoning and special use permit rather than also working on a development agreement
with the city of Wilmington, officials said.
Under development by Greensboro-based The Caroll Companies, The Avenue is planned to be anchored by a Westin hotel called Westin on The Avenue and to feature an upscale spa and conference center. The project will also include apartments, class-A office space, restaurants and retailers.
The Wilmington City Council voted April 3 to amend the city's Land Development Code to allow buildings on property associated with a development agreement to reach 75 feet high in lieu of a special use permit.
Rather than an agreement, however, officials with The Carroll Companies decided to seek only a special use permit to be allowed the 75-foot heights needed for The Westin and an apartment building that will have retailers on the first floor.
"The first time we submitted our project last summer, there was confusion on the intensity of the project and traffic impacts. We thought a development agreement would make it clear the project intensity was substantially reduced along with outlining, in a written and enforceable agreement, that the current traffic patterns will actually improve with the development of our project due to the extent and timing of road improvements we will make," according to a statement from Livian Jones, a consultant for The Carroll Companies. "Given the perception the development agreement process is not transparent, we decided to move to a rezoning with conditions to alleviate any such concerns. We look forward to the opportunity to bring this unique and landmark project to the City of Wilmington."
The Avenue is planned on a 44-acre site that would need a rezoning beause it currently serves as a mobile home park. The project requests are expected to be considered by the Wilmington Planning Commission in May.